Ex-spin-doctor Damian McBride with his boss Gordon Brown at the Labour Conference in 2008

Did Ed Miliband know what Gordon Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride was up to?

Serialisation of memoir, which reveals smears against rivals, raises awkward questions for Labour leader

BBC independence at risk from NAO regulation, warns James Purnell

The BBC’s journalistic independence could be threatened if the National Audit Office (NAO) is allowed to investigate the corporation at will, James Purnell, the former minister who became a high-profile BBC recruit, has warned.

Russell Brand will appear alongside Boris Johnson on Question Time.

Russell Brand and Boris Johnson to go head-to-head on Question Time

Comedian Russell Brand is to be a panellist on political debate show Question Time, sharing the stage with Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband hits back at criticism of his Labour leadership from Blair and allies

Ed Miliband tonight hit back at criticism of Labour's direction under him from Tony Blair and his allies, accusing them of being out of date and out of touch with the public.

Margaret Thatcher in a McDonalds branch in East Finchley

Mrs Thatcher implanted the gene of greed in Britain

That was the truly poisonous part of her legacy in this country

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Scott Lidgett: inspired a generation of British publicists

Helen Scott Lidgett: PR supremo for major cultural institutions

In 1991, a sculpture by Patricia Finch called Golders Hill Girl was unveiled in a north London park. Dressed in bronze flip-flops and hot pants, the work is arresting for its unusual mix of glamour and informality. The same might have been said of Helen Scott Lidgett, née Finch, who sat for the piece for her mother and has died of ovarian cancer at 63.

Stadium: The failure to secure a permanent tenant for the £486m Olympic Stadium has been a major hiccup in Locog’s legacy aims. Earlier efforts ended in High Court recriminations involving West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Athletics was to be at its core – a promise originally made by Lord Coe during the bid – and the running track will remain. Mayor Boris Johnson took the venue into public ownership and it will host the 2015 IAA F World Championships. Meanwhile a new bidding process is under way. A football tenant, almost certainly West Ham, remains the most probable outcome despite a late challenge from Formula 1 and an application to use the pared-back venue for a sports business university

Fans get extra 200,000 tickets for Paralympics

The flame for the Paralympic torch will be kindled at the summit of each home nation's highest peak

Spectators watch the hockey match between Great Britain and Japan

London 2012: More than 2m fans visit London for Games

Over 2 million visitors have arrived in London to support the Games, making it the biggest crowd event in the city's history.

Empty seats at Wimbledon as Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland took on Julia Goerges during the Women's Singles Tennis match today

Troops, students and teachers fill gaps left by stadiums' empty seats

Sponsors faced growing criticism over unused tickets at Olympic venues after a number of events took place with empty seats.

Ed Miliband in no-strike Olympic Games appeal

Ed Miliband called today for industrial action to be avoided during the Olympic Games after London bus drivers were balloted over a potential strike in a row over pay.

Berlusconi bribery trial rejected by judges

Italian judges yesterday threw out bribery charges against the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying that the statute of limitation had run out.

Pictures from home: Bamako, Mali 1948-1963, is a weighty new coffee-table book from Steidl that collects previously unpublished portraits from the archives of Seydou Keïta - whose stylised studio shots documented life in his hometown in the colony of French Sudan, then a bustling transport route to Dakar - with some of his most celebrated work. £86; steidlville.com
David Mills arrived at court today to give evidence in connection with corruption charges being brought in Italy against Silvio Berlusconi

David Mills 'ashamed' of Silvio Berlusconi claim

English lawyer David Mills told a court today he was "deeply ashamed" to have written a letter falsely claiming that former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had given him $600,000.

Leading article: The Games need India more than Dow

Lord Coe's apparently steady hand on the London Olympics' tiller has faltered. His robust defence before a Commons committee earlier this month of the controversial acceptance of £7m in sponsorship from Dow Chemical now seems like bluster.

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A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
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A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments